Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Exercise and Your Skin

It is no secret that exercise has many benefits, but is healthy skin one of them? When we refer to our skin, we talk of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing (I hear the guys go 'huh?'), and even what foods you should or should not eat. But folks often skip the benefits exercise has on the skin.

Exercise increases blood flow to all the organs including the skin. Organs perform better when there is better oxygen flow. However, I think the other end of exercise concerns most people: sweat.

You've probably heard that sweat is bad for your skin. Well, that is not entirely true. Sweat in itself actually clears out your pores. The problem is the bacteria that gets attracted to the salt in sweat. This is why it is very important to let the sweat do its job while you exercise, and then give your face a mild wash right after. So sweat is good, but leaving it on your skin is bad.

Well, for the ladies, because we wear makeup on your faces, we tend to wash our faces more than we should, which removes the nutrients from our skin. And when you exercise in the middle of the day or the evening, it probably means you wash your face both before and after exercise. If you absolutely have to wash your face multiple times a day, use a very mild wash so it doesn't strip your skin of the good oils it needs.

Now, although we've established that exercise is great for your skin and your circulation, there are things we do that may hurt our skin when we exercise. For one, constantly touching, rubbing, and scratching can have negative effects on the skin, especially sensitive areas like the face. If you are in a bacteria-infested environment like the gym, it is even worse. Try to stay away for constant contact between your fingers and your face, make sure you wear clothing that doesn't cause uncomfortable friction, and try not to let your skin come in direct contact with shared items without washing them or wiping them down (e.g. equipment, towels, headphones, mats).

At the end of it all, one of the most important things to remember is to hydrate. Water is great for your skin, and if you lose a lot of water when you exercise, you need to replenish the body's supply.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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